Young Hollywood actress Julie accidentally runs over a white German shepherd and takes the injured animal into her home. Despite her initial reluctance, she soon forms a bond with the dog, not knowing it has been trained to attack black people. Determined to find someone who can deprogramme the killer canine, she solicits the help of an expert animal trainer, Keys, who just happens to be black.

Sam Fuller’s notoriously controversial White Dog, so profoundly misunderstood in the early eighties that the studio withheld the film from release, is today rightly lauded for its daring metaphor and its throat-grabbing assault on America’s deeply rooted racism.

“An impassioned attack on racial hatred and every inch a Fuller film. /…/ Fuller was not a maker of typical social-problem films, and rejected treating subjects with sanitized white gloves and the fixation on uplift with which liberal Hollywood carefully crafted most pictures addressing ‘difficult’ issues.”
– Lisa Dombrowski, Film Comment

“Full of startling close-ups and arresting visual contrasts (above all the stirring image of the ebony hand soothing the hound’s snarling pale snout), it’s a work that envisions racism not with a guttersnipe’s shrill righteousness but with a scarred humanist’s awareness of how ignorance and pain can be toxically ingrained into the fibre of society.”
– Fernando F. Croce, Slant Magazine


USA, 1982, 35mm, 1.78, colour, 90′

directed by Samuel Fuller
written by Samuel Fuller, Curtis Hanson (based on the story by Romain Gary)
cinematography Bruce Surtees
editing Bernard Gribble
music Ennio Morricone
cast Kristy McNichol, Paul Winfield, Burl Ives, Jameson Parker, Lynne Moody, Marshall Thompson, Christa Lang, Samuel Fuller, Hans, Folsom, Son, Buster, Duke
produced by Jon Davison (Paramount Pictures)